What is endodontics?
The part of dentistry that deals with dental pulp present inside the tooth is called endodontics. It originated from two Greek words, “Endo” which means inside and “Odont” which means teeth.
Why do you need an endodontist?
In some cases, a dentist might refer his patient to an endodontist. An endodontist is more skilled to perform a root canal therapy, endodontic surgery and other complex treatments involving dental pulp. Endodontist can save a tooth from an injury.
What is an endodontic therapy?
Endodontic therapy or root canal is the process of removing the infected pulp of the tooth to remove the infection and protect the teeth from further microbial damage. The dental hollow is filled with dental pulp.The dental pulp consists of nerve tissues and blood vessels. In root canal therapy the infected dental pulp is removed, and the dental hollow is cleaned and decontaminated using dental files and irrigating solutions. Then the dental cavity is filled with inert fillings like gutta-percha and eugenol based cement.
What is root canal retreatment?
In some rare cases even after having a root canal treatment, the tooth might not heal properly. The patient might complain of pain and discomfort post surgery. Under such circumstances, root canal retreatment is suggested. In this treatment, the old crown and filling materials are removed, and the root canal is again cleaned and decontaminated. It is then filled, and the tooth is crowned again. Dentists believe root canal treatment and retreatment is better than extraction as it gives the teeth a second chance of survival.
What are the latest trends in the field of endodontics?
Technological advancement and specialized techniques in the field of endodontics helps an endodontist to examine the inside of the tooth clearly, making the treatments easy, quick and more comfortable.
Some of the latest trends of endodontics are discussed below:
- Cone Beam CT scanning: It is different from a regular CT scan as it uses cone-shaped X-ray beam and two-dimensional detectors. It is a slightly different computed tomography which gives an increased X-ray tube efficiency. It is less time consuming and provides more accurate scientific dimensions of the root canal which may help in the root canal therapy.
- Dental loupes: A loupe is a simple device used for magnification to give a clear view of smaller details. A dental loupe is used to help in the root canal procedure.
- Microscope-assisted root canal treatment: Root canals treatments assisted with microscope helps the dentist to see the dental pulp more clearly. It provides a magnified view. It helps the dentist to look at the details which are otherwise not visible to the naked eye. The microscope helps the dentist to see roots that are not readily visible improving the treatment. It brings precision to the process and delivers better results. These kinds of procedures are more successful, as cleaning an opening of 0.1mm is more comfortable under a microscope.
- Microsurgical endodontics: In some cases where traditional root canal therapy has failed then the endodontist may suggest microsurgery using an operative microscope and other microscopic instruments. This kind of surgery the root tip is removed and the root end is filled with biocompatible material using an operative microscope. It is better than the other options, and the patient heals quickly.
- Laser root canal therapy: In this kind of treatment the root canals are cleaned using intense laser lights which melts away the remaining decayed tooth and cleans bacteria and infections from the root canal. It cleans more efficiently and is less painful than an ordinary root canal treatment. It is less time consuming and does not have the side effect of breaking files and losing them in the root canal.
But there are some disadvantages of laser treatments as root canal spaces are not straight and are often curved, traditional instruments can be curved to follow the shape of the root canal, but laser lights follow a straight line, due to this sometimes the root canal and tooth tissues are damaged.
New developments in the field of endodontics have revolutionized the science of root canal therapy. A dentist has to be technically aware of the latest trends to be able to do the root canal therapy more efficiently. Orange County Root Canal professional, Dr. Fay Mansouri, is of the opinion that in the last ten years root canal therapy has become more automated, making it easy, less painful and less time-consuming. With modern techniques, it can be completed in one sitting with the dentist which lasts for less than three hours.